Kick Up The Connectivity: Upgrading The Wi
If you’re looking for a new wireless card to pair with your new Wi-Fi 6 router, you’re in luck: Laptop Wi-Fi cards are more often than not modular and can thus be upgraded.
The simplest way to identify yours is to refer to your laptop’s service manual or locate the card under the system’s bottom cover. The wireless card is usually easy to differentiate from others in your notebook since it will have at least one antenna lead the card in the HP shown below has two.
This M.2 Wi-Fi card has two antenna connectors.
The main factor that affects which wireless card you can use in your laptop is the interface. Laptops produced from the early-to-mid-2010s typically used Half Mini PCIe, while those made after that likely follow the newer M.2 Type-2230 standard. The two kinds are not interchangeable or cross-compatible. The slots are keyed differently and won’t even accept a card of the other type.
Barring a service manual to tell you about your wireless card slot, you can figure it out just by examining the card. The one shown above is identifiable as an M.2 2230 card by its single centered retainer screw. A Half Mini PCIe card, as shown below, has two retainer screw holes, one at either corner.
This is a Half Mini PCIe Wi-Fi card, also with twin antenna connectors.Right-clicking in Windows 10’s Device Manager helps you uninstall the old card.
The laptop’s operating system should recognize the new card when you reboot and install it automatically.
Can You Upgrade Graphics Card On Alienware Laptop
You can upgrade the GPU on your Alienware laptop but it entirely depends on the laptop itself. For Alienware, this isnt new. As expected, older Alienware laptops like the m15x and m17x have GPU upgrades. Even now, you can replace your Radeon HD 5730 GPU module with an NVIDIA GTX 460 or AMD 5850 graphics card.
How About Battery Life
The short answer is not to count on your gaming notebook being super portable.
If youre using your laptop to play games, you need to keep your laptop plugged in to get the full performance out of your GPU. And if you dont, youll be lucky if your laptop lasts an hour gaming. In our testing experience, most gaming laptops last only a few hours on a charge when performing other tasks, but never as long as ultraportables without discrete GPUs. If you need something to last 8 hours while you work, it wont be a gaming notebook.
Some do last long, but thats often at the expense of the display, and you dont want to play all your games on a dark, dim or inaccurate screen.
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This Has Always *literally* Been The Problem
The reason laptop graphics cards arent upgradeable has nothing to do with AMD, Nvidia, or the PCIe standard. The reason laptop GPUs cant be upgraded is that no OEM has ever felt it would be profitable to create and commit to supporting a platform for multiple product generations. Laptop GPUs have to be built to very strict size tolerances, which is why theres never been a single common standard. What Dell promised to do last year, effectively, was to create one, specifically for its Alienware 51-m line of products. Building a common laptop GPU card standard would allow a Dell Mobile RTX 2080 to be swapped for a Dell Mobile RTX 3080 or 4080 when the time came because all of these cards would use the same, Dell-designed form factor.
Dell is going to design custom mobile GPUs to fit its various XPS and Alienware laptops no matter what. This isnt about whether the company was willing to build a custom GPU. Its a question of whether Dell was willing to commit to building a series of compatible custom GPUs over time, in order to provide the market with an actual upgrade path. The answer? Even after promising customers that it would provide an upgradeable GPU, no, it wasnt.
Now Dell is launching a second-generation Area-51m. Id detail and discuss it here if I had the slightest intention of recommending you give money to a company that treats its customers this way.
Alienware Aurora R10 Gaming Desktop
When Dell builds its Alienware gaming desktops, it typically opts for Intel processors but not this time. AMDs massive pace in the processor market in recent years has made Ryzen processors excellent for top-notch gaming. System builders have picked up on this, and AMD processors are appearing in many more desktop computers and laptops than they used to, including in the subject of todays review, the Alienware Aurora R10 Ryzen Edition.
High-performance desktop with up to 16-core third-Generation AMD Ryzen overclockable processors designed for gamers who create.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The visually striking Alienware Aurora can be configured in a variety of ways, but this Alienware Aurora R10, Ryzen 9 3950X-equipped model, is a performance monster.
- AMD Ryzen 9 3950X processor in a unit delivers blistering performance.
- It has a bold, modern case design.
- High-refresh 1440p and 60fps 40K gaming.
- A huge array of configuration options when ordering.
- It has tool-less access to an efficient internal layout.
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Can Alienware Laptops Be Upgraded
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Laptops are much harder to upgrade than their desktop counterparts. So, many companies try to get an edge in the market by making their laptops more upgradeable than their competition. So, does Alienware, one of the top PC brands, offer upgradeable features?
Many of Alienwares laptops can be upgraded to a certain extent. Usually, the RAM and storage drive are the easiest parts to upgrade or replace. Their flagship series, the area 51m, offers users a scope to upgrade even the GPU and CPU but the options available for this are very limited.
Its important to know exactly what upgrades you can make with your laptop before you buy one. Otherwise, you may get stuck with an outdated PC and be forced to purchase a new model.
So, in this article, we will discuss just how upgradeable Alienware laptops are. We will look at the limitations of these laptops and the reasons behind them. Hopefully, by the end, you can decide whether Alienware laptops are worth it for you.
Is The Alienware 14 Worth It
The good Dells new Alienware 14 offers great performance, competitive prices, and quirky features such as a backlit touch pad. The bad The new design still feels dated, and its as thick as a few slim laptops stacked together. The design changes dont go nearly far enough, but no complaints about the performance.
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Installing The Memory Upgrade
Locate the memory door and remove the two Phillips head screws securing it in place. Next, slide the memory door towards the front of the computer to release the tabs, then left it upward to remove.
Remove the memory door cover
If you need to remove any of the existing modules, slide the silver spring-locks on each side outward until the module springs upward, then lift it out.
Remove existing modules if needed
To install a new memory module, perform the process in reverse. First set the module into the slot at an angle, making sure the pins are seated in the connector. Then gently press the module down until it lays flat. You will hear a click when it locks into place.
Insert the memory module at an angle
Best Gaming: Lenovo Legion 5i
Gaming laptops are generally more likely to be upgradeable than, say, an Ultrabook, purely based on their increased size. When it comes to the versatility of upgrades combined with features and performance, the Lenovo Legion 5i is about as good as it gets right now.
For one, it packs Intel 10th Gen hexa-core processors and NVIDIA RTX 2060 graphics. It’s all housed in a stylish aluminum chassis, comes with a suitably good keyboard , and a crazy fast 144Hz display with NVIDIA G-Sync for tear-free gaming.
Flip it over and pop the bottom off, though, and you’re in for a treat. Not only is the m.2 SSD slot accessible to upgrade to a larger capacity NVMe SSD, but you can upgrade the RAM thanks to the use of standard SODIMM DDR4 memory sticks, and make use of the 2.5-inch drive bay for all the storage you need for your games.
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Can You Overclock A M17xr4 To A Gtx780m
GTX780M Although only 4GB, this GPU will overclock to a higher frequency, run cooler and more stable than a GTX880M. Youll have to do a slight mod on the NVidia driver to get it to install on anything above a GTX680 in a M17xR4 but there are heaping of guides on the net and its not that hard, checkout notebookreview.com
How Much Does An Alienware Area 51 Cost
Today’s gaming laptops are not only capable of playing the latest games at high frame rates, but they can also pull double duty for productivity work just as easily. Alienware’s new Area-51m, which starts at around $1,950 and can be configured well north of $5,000, is not one of those gaming laptops. via
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Can You Upgrade An Alienware Laptop Gpu
You can upgrade the GPU on your Alienware laptop but it entirely depends on the laptop itself. Most older Alienware laptops allow you to upgrade your GPU. However, this isnt always the case with newer versions of Alienware laptops.
For Alienware, this isnt new. As expected, older Alienware laptops like the m15x and m17x have GPU upgrades.
Even now, you can replace your Radeon HD 5730 GPU module with an NVIDIA GTX 460 or AMD 5850 graphics card.
You can as well upgrade your NVIDIA GeForce RTX 580M to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 760M card to experience the next level of gaming performance.
Newer versions of Alienware, like the Area-51m R1 and Area-51m R2, have more restrictions on their upgrades. As we stated above, the R1 only gives you the option to upgrade your GeForce RTX 2060 GPU to either the RTX 2070 or RTX 2080.
Unfortunately, you cannot upgrade your R1 GPUs with the RTX 2070 and 2080 Super versions that come with the R2. The R1 DGFF cannot support the new GPU and CPU sockets.
This backward incompatibility is partly Intels fault because their 10th Gen chips cannot work on 9th Gen sockets either.
Also, the DGFF bars you from buying third-party upgrades.
How To Upgrade Your Alienware 17’s Ram
ByAndrew E. Freedman06 June 2016
When we reviewed the Alienware 17, we found it to be a powerful performer partially due to its 16GB of RAM. If you don’t have that much RAM yet , you’ll want to open it up and install more for an optimum gaming experience. You’ll need a Phillips head screwdriver and some new DDR4 SODIMMs, which range in price from $64 for a pair of 8GBs to $130 for a pair of 16GBs . Choose DIMMs with a speed of DDR-2400 for maximum performance. Be sure to make a backup of your data before opening up your laptop.
Here’s how to upgrade your Alienware 17’s RAM:
1, Shut down and close your Alienware 17.
2. Flip it over and loosen the two screws on the center plate. These don’t come out.
3. Pry off the cover. You shouldn’t need anything other than your fingers, as it pops right out.
4. Locate the RAM. The two modules are stacked one on top of the other. Depending on your configuration, it’s possible there may only be one module of RAM in your laptop.
5. Press down on the clips on the top set of SODIMMs. The RAM will pop out at an angle.
6. Gently pull the RAM from the slot. Be sure not to touch the contacts and to place the unused RAM in an anti-static bag.
7. Repeat the steps with the lower SODIMM.
8. Place the new RAM in at an angle, then press it flat beneath the clips. Repeat for the top SODIMM.
9. Place the cover back on the bottom and tighten the screws.
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What Kind Of Graphics Card Does Alienware M15x Have
01-18-2014 05:45 AM Hello I have an alienware M15X with intel i7 M620 6 Gb ram and ATI mobility radeon HD 5730. Can anyone tell me if it is possible to upgrade this graphics card? I mean, I know that the video cards in most laptops are kind of molded into the motherboard, but I was wondering if alienware is an exception. 01-18-2014 09:41 AM
Difficult But Not Impossible
Despite all the points we discussed so far being true, you can still upgrade your laptop. So, you are not stuck with your current setup forever and forced to buy a new one.
Switching from an HDD to an SSD is a very common upgrade that many laptop owners prefer. A solid-state drive is usually faster and more reliable than a mechanical hard drive. So, the performance improvement is worth the cost.
Another frequently upgraded part is the RAM. There is a good chance that the RAM slot in your laptop is accessible, especially if it is an older model. Sometimes, you can insert an additional RAM if there is any extra slot in the motherboard.
Changing the CPU and GPU is much harder and is usually not worth the money. These parts are either soldered into the motherboard or the laptop will not work with the new unit. Almost all new laptops have this limitation.
The same is also true for the cooling system as the fans are usually integrated into the casing. And a new casing will not fit all the internal hardware as those parts have a very specific configuration. So, you will be better off buying a new one at that point.
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Why Laptops Are Difficult To Upgrade
With desktops, you have a lot more room to house the hardware. Often, you will find extra slots in the motherboard for additional RAM or GPUs. Most of the parts are also attached with screws that you can easily detach.
Laptops do not offer that luxury. Typically, the key hardware such as the GPU, RAM, etc. is soldered or glued to the internal motherboard. You may also find that some parts are wired over one another, making it pretty much impossible to replace those parts separately.
The cooling system is also a problem. You can easily detach and reattach the cooling system of a desktop. Air-cooled systems are connected to the external casing which you can readily replace. But in laptops, the casing is intricately linked with most if not all other major parts.
Then there is the problem of finding spare parts for the exact model of your laptop. This may not surprise you but most companies make their laptop according to their own standard. Meaning, there is little chance that the SSD of one brand will work with another brands laptop.
This becomes an even bigger issue with bigger companies. Even if they are upgradeable, you will probably find that you can only upgrade them with parts of the same company. This also limits your choices as those parts may not be available near you at that time.
Can You Upgrade A Gaming Laptop Gpu
Changing to a newer GPU model can increase the systems power immediately. In a regular gaming PC, the GPU can be replaced in a couple of seconds, but it is much more difficult in gaming laptops.
The GPU of a gaming laptop can only be changed if the graphics card is not built into the motherboard or integrated into the processor. In laptops like the Alienware AREA-51M, the GPU can be upgraded to an Nvidia RTX 2080 SUPER.
However, installing a more powerful GPU increases heat production, and thus, can damage other parts. In addition, the cooling system is only optimized for the original GPU. Another fact that makes it difficult to upgrade to a more potent GPU is that there are almost no cards available on the market.
If you want more GPU power in your gaming system, buying a new laptop with a stronger graphics card is recommended.
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Best Overall: Dell Xps 15
The Dell XPS 15 shares a lot with its smaller sibling. But the extra space you get from making it a bit bigger pays dividends especially if you’re into adding your own upgrades. Dell doesn’t cut corners, and the spec sheet boasts Intel’s latest high-end processors, NVIDIA graphics, and a 4K display, all available as options.
However, if you flip it over, you’ll find more than you might expect that you can change out. RAM and the SSD storage can be upgraded, as can the wireless card, so it’s pretty straightforward to make an excellent portable PC even more exceptional.
Dell’s stock parts in the XPS 15 are high quality of that, there’s no doubt. In the newest version, the 9500, there’s now space for an additional m.2 NVMe SSD leaving all the space for storage you could possibly want. The XPS 15 remains one of the best laptops on the market today, and being able to upgrade it is certainly a bonus.
Is Alienware Aurora Upgradeable
One of the questions that many Alienware fans have wondered about is if the Aurora is upgradeable as well. The good news is that the community has found ways to upgrade this model as well! Thus, you can rest assured that you are going to be able to upgrade your Alienware Aurora if that is something you foresee needing to happen in the future.
A few of the parts that you can upgrade on the Aurora include:
- Graphics card
- Stock cooler
There may be a handful of other parts that you can upgrade as well, but these ones are a certainty. You will want to look at each component individually and figure out how you will upgrade it and if it makes sense to upgrade that specific part in your circumstances. It is largely dependent on your budget and your plans for the computer.
Very few people want to get a device that they are unable to play around with. It is so obvious that one of the most fun things to do with any new piece of technology is to test its limits. You may discover that there are a lot of hidden features and other aspects of your computer that you had no clue about. If that is the case, then you should know that you are not alone in your surprise, and you should try to take it as a sign that Alienware continues to put out amazing equipment that is made even better when it is upgraded.
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